A total of £1,400 raised during last weekend's Glyn Charles Memorial Pursuit Race 25/5/07

Sun, wind, Chichester harbour, 140 boats from the Mirror to the X, Swallow and Sunbeam keelboats, and somewhere in-between foiling Moths, Musto Skiffs, and International 14s: what better way to honour an old friend and raise money for the John Merricks trust? If that wasn’t enough, a very generous list of prize sponsors meant that there was a chance for everyone in every type of boat to win a prize.

The 140 entries included representatives from the West Indies, as well as clubs all over the country, and the HISC members were also joined by a large contingent from harbour clubs Mengham Rythe and Itchenor. The TP 52 Patches sent an entry from Valencia and was allocated a very generous handicap, but probably not enough to overcome the lack of depth over Pilsey Sands at the start line.

“We have several of Glyn Charles and John Merricks closest friends on the boat. Clearly we’d have struggled with the depth in Chichester Harbour so we stuck to a few practice laps in Valencia whilst thinking of old friends. Thanks to everyone who supports the race and John’s Trust.” said skipper Ian Walker

The Mirror of Neil Mackley gamely led for one and a quarter hours, but the close spinnaker reaches and long beats were ideally suited for traditional trapeze boats: James and Will Rusden’s 420 were in the end the only boat to challenge the Fireball of Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend who finished comfortable winners and took home the voucher for a Neilson holiday as well as the Glyn Charles Memorial Trophy:

Dick Pratt was winner of the Basilica prize for first singlehander:
“It was a bit windy for sailing the Finn from Bosham: so I brought the board!”

Winner of the biggest class, the RS 200s, and a day’s sailing on the Pindar Volvo 60 were Nick and Kate Peters:
“So much fun to travel round the harbour as a change from windward/leewards: the best days sailing we’ve had for several years.”

For once, with the exception of Richard Stenhouse’s Musto Skiff in 13th, and Simon Allen’s Canoe in 6th, the ‘modern’ high performance boats failed to make an impression on the traditional classes.
“The hardest part was swimming fast enough to catch the boat”: said Paul Brotherton, who finished 26th in his International Moth.

“Bonza: the best sail we have had all year”: added National 12 sailor Terry Cooke who was representing major Sponsor Gill.

At the prizegiving, Mark Rushall gave thanks to all the sponsors who donated prizes for the event:

“We could not do it without the sponsors, and it is fantastic to be able to distribute special prizes throughout the fleet, as well as having the big ones like the Neilson holiday, the Gill vouchers, the television from Basilica, Books and vouchers from the RYA, and the corporate day on Pindar’s Volvo 60.”

Approximately £1,400 was raised for the John Merricks Trust, which we are hopeful will be doubled through a charity match scheme. Chips summed up the spirit of the event when he was presented with the Glyn Charles Memorial Trophy by Margaret Charles:

“I knew both Glyn and John, they loved sailing in a big breeze. I think they got together over a beer at Hayling Bar last night and persuaded the sun and wind gods to send us they best they had: thank you!”